Man’s dream of turning famous home from ‘The Castle’ into a tourist attraction after spending $100,000 to move it to a country town is now locked in a battle with unhappy locals
- George Fendyk hopes to turn it into a tourist attraction in Beechworth, Victoria
- He saved the home from being demolished and bought it for $40,000 in 2017
- He spent over $100,000 relocating the home from Melbourne to Beechworth
A man who bought the home from the classic Australian film ‘The Castle’ is locked in a dispute with his local council as he tries to turn the house into a tourist attraction.
George Fendyk saved the iconic weatherboard cottage from being demolished in 2017, when he snapped it up for a cool $40,000.
He spent over $100,000 relocating the home from the Melbourne suburb of Strathmore, near Essendon Airport, to the Victorian county town of Beechworth – 300 kilometres away.
Mr Fendyk and his business partner Geoffrey Lucas hoped to cash in and create a caravan park on the former Mayday Hills Lunatic Asylum.
George Fendyk bought the iconic home from the classic Aussie film ‘The Castle’ and hopes to turn the home into a tourist attraction
George Fendyk and his business partner Geoffrey Lucas (pictured) hope to cash in and create a caravan park on the former Mayday Hills Lunatic Asylum in Beechworth, Victoria – after spending $100,000 to relocate the iconic home from Melbourne
The home would serve as a tourist attraction and office, but the local council is pushing back on his plans.
Indigo Shire Council voted down his bid 2-5 in February, saying the proposal could impact the area’s ‘vibe’.
The plan to build 35 cabins attracted negative attention for not being sensitive to the lunatic asylum’s heritage, and having the potential to cause a ‘ghetto’.
But Mr Fendyk didn’t let the set back stop him. He took his plans to the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal, with a hearing set for November.
‘There’s 140 people in the (council) office these days and they’ve all got regulations to work with,’ he said.
The council battle mirrors the 1997 film’s plot line, where the Kerrigan family fight to keep their suburban Melbourne home after developers try to acquire the land to expand the nearby airport
‘It’s not all their fault. I think the politicians make the laws and they just follow them… Everything’s harder’.
‘It will slowly works itself out but it just takes time, it’s frustrating’.
As a die-hard fan of the iconic 1997 film, Mr Fendyk said if his caravan park ever gets completed he’ll invite the whole cast – including Australian acting legend Michael Caton – over for drinks.
In keeping with the theme of the movie, the property has a life-size wood-carved statue of Darryl Kerrigan with his famous one liner ‘tell him he’s dreaming’.
Ironically, Mr Fendyk’s council battle mirrors the comedy film’s central plot line.
The fictional Kerrigan family fight to keep their suburban Melbourne home after developers try to acquire the land to expand the nearby airport.
The family eventually win the battle to keep their ‘castle’ with father Darryl leading the fight against the impending eviction.
Indigo Shire Mayor, Councillor Bernard Gaffney, told Daily Mail Australia that Mr Fendyk had been issued with a planning permit, but a building permit is yet to be approved.
‘There are still outstanding matters to be resolved before we can issue a building permit and we are working with the applicant to resolve these issues.’
The planning permit for the Castle House is separate to the application for the Caravan Park at Mayday Hills, which is currently with Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal.
Indigo Shire Council voted down his bid 2-5 in February, saying the proposal could impact the area’s ‘vibe’. Pictured: the home in Melbourne before it was relocated via truck to country Victoria